Pop Culture

The cast of 'Days of our Lives' share their secrets to 'Better Living'

In "Days of our Lives: Better Living," the cast of the long-running, scripted daytime television drama share their secrets for a healthier, balanced life based. Here's an excerpt.


Millions of fans in more than 20 countries have come to love and admire the characters on Days of our Lives, which has been airing on NBC since November 8, 1965. In fact, many fans have grown so close to these characters, as they are portrayed by the talented cast, that they view them as if they were members of their own family! It wasn’t until several of us spent time with our cast members, traveling around the country promoting the Days of our Lives 45 Years: A Celebration in Photos book, that we grew to know some of them on a personal level. We began to discover that they are multidimensional individuals, each involved in some other fascinating endeavor. They not only have lives beyond acting on Days, but they have a wide variety of interests, worthy goals and important causes that inspire them. These actors continue to face the same hurdles and challenges we all meet as we strive to attain our own goals. However, we found that they are genuinely happy, fulfilled individuals. We became intrigued as to how they achieve that. What are their secrets to being not only physically attractive, but well-rounded and happy, too? And wouldn’t this be valuable information to share with others?

After an interview with magazine editor Michael Maloney, it occurred to me that we could use his help in uncovering these “secrets” from the cast. He had interviewed most of them before, so I knew they would be comfortable talking with him. Michael loved the idea, so we created a list of categories for him to use as he formulated questions for each cast member. He went home and started making phone calls. These interviews and meetings continued for months.


As coauthor Eddie Campbell and I started compiling the information, it became clear that many cast members share quite a few of the same traits. We noticed that a pattern was developing. None of the cast members are on extreme diets or attempting impossible exercise routines. Their approach to style is wearing clothes that are comfortable, affordable and practical. None of them are living a crazy, glamorous, “Hollywood” lifestyle. And as they strive to attain their goals, each one of them is either involved in some type of charitable organization or somehow finding a way to help others.

Each of the actors in this book has succeeded in creating his or her own unique lifestyle, yet they share many of the same qualities. They have learned how to nurture and maintain their bodies and minds as they search for their inner values. So, here is their secret: it’s about balance. They have found a realistic approach to balancing the way they live in the following five categories, each of which we have created as a chapter for this book:

Nutrition, Exercise, Style, Inspiration and Balance.

Come build a better, happier and balanced life for yourself with Days of our Lives.

Greg Meng
Executive in Charge of Production
Days of our Lives

Tracey Morriss / Today

Red pepper soup

By Deidre Hall

1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon 
2 red peppers, cubed
1 garlic clove
1 large carrot or zucchini, chopped
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth, low sodium
Fresh black pepper to taste
¼ cup feta cheese
Yogurt for garnish (optional)

Sauté the onion in butter.
Add the red pepper, garlic, carrot and broth to the pan. Cook until the vegetables are tender.
Combine all ingredients in the blender with pepper and a bit of feta until it’s creamy (about 30 seconds).
Dish up in pretty bowls and garnish with a dab of yogurt.

Serves: 1

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 300 calories, 13.2 grams of protein, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 13.8 grams of fat, 9.1 grams of fiber and 1107 milligrams of sodium.

Tracey Morriss / Today

Grilled Rib-Eye Steak
By Shawn Christian

This recipe uses the natural fat marbling contained in the rib-eye to make a very flavorful and juicy steak without a lot of effort.

4 (4-ounce) rib-eye steaks (at least an inch thick), boneless
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Preheat your grill to high.

Remove the rib-eye steaks from their packaging and rub each with a tablespoon of olive oil and then coat with a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. The olive oil provides just enough fat to help the pepper create a great, caramelized crust.

Clean and lubricate your grill grates with some cooking oil on a rolled-up piece of paper towel (using tongs, of course).

Place the rib-eye steaks on the hottest part of the grill and keep the tongs near. If you experience a flare-up, use your tongs to slide the steaks away from the open flame. Once the flame dies, however, move back to original position.

Continue to grill each side of the rib-eye with the lid open for about 4 to 6 minutes.
Once steaks are done to your preference, place to the side for about 5 minutes before serving.

Cooking Tip: Consider grilling a jalapeño right along with the steak. Keep it pure and simple.

Recommendation: Serve rib-eye with wild rice and greens sautéed with freshly chopped garlic and olive oil.

Serves: 4

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 227 calories, 26.6 grams of protein, 1.8 grams of carbohydrates, 26.4 grams of fat, 0 grams of fiber and 428 milligrams of sodium.

Excerpted from DAYS OF OUR LIVES: BETTER LIVING by Greg Meng and Eddie Campbell. Copyright © 2013 by Corday Productions, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.